Sunday, June 14, 2015

Father's Day: Some Familiar Faces

Dear George,
It’s no easy business being a dad.  It takes hard work, perseverance, and a certain degree of sensitivity.  Dads are forced to actually enter adulthood and stay more mature than the kiddies.  We never got any lessons in school about fatherhood.  We mostly learned from observing the role models around us.  These are dads from Katja’s and my family who have been important in that endeavor.    

Buck with Ami and David (circa 1955)

Here’s my Philly father-in-law Buck
Dad to Katja and David and Ami
He took them each summer to the Jersey shore
Where life was idyllic and balmy

David (front right) with Mandy (front left) (March 2012)

This is my brother-in-law David
Who raised Tyler, Jonny, and Mandy
They lived in the biggest house in Dixon
They’ve been lucky that David’s so handy

Vic with Steve (July 1944)

This is my own dad, Victor L.
Plus Steven and Peter and Vicki
Vic bought us all the ice cream we wanted
No wonder our palms were so sticky

Kent (left) with his son Thor and his twin brother Karl (ca. 1949)

My Uncle Kent ran the Menominee Drugs
Dad to Stewart and Kurt and Thor
He came back home with a Silver Star
From France in the Second World War

Ralph and Martha with John and Ann (ca. 1955)

Uncle Ralph operated the Marinette Drugs
His kids were Johnny and Ann
Ralph was a big-hearted and generous man
He loved to be home with his clan

Steve with Jennifer and Greg (ca. 1972)

My brother Steve’s family lives off in Seattle
There’s Jennifer and Jason and and Greg
Steve took them all fishing on Puget Sound
As a dad he was such a good egg

Peter with Chris (left) and Jessica (right) (ca. 2000)

Peter was head of our East Coast branch
His kids are Jessica and Chris
He always signed off saying “I love you”
It’s a habit that all of us miss

George with Abra (August 1982)

Vicki’s George, such a devoted dad
To Jacob and Abra and Rhys
He taught them many deep lessons in life
Most of all a commitment to peace

Dave with J (ca. 1972)

Here I am with our own son J
J was born in nine sixty-nine
We had many good times at the Cincy Zoo
Never once did I hear that J whine

J with L (left) and V (right) (April 2014)

Now J has become a dad on his own
In September V and L will turn seven
J is so devoted, loving, and caring
The kids’ lives are sort of like heaven

* * * * * * * * * *

Things I learned from the fathers in our family

From my father-in-law Buck I learned to be thrilled by one’s children’s doings.

From my brother-in-law David I learned to approach parenting with a quirky sense of humor.

From my dad Vic I learned to hold high expectations for one’s kids.

From my uncle Kent I learned to hold firm to a righteous path.

From my uncle Ralph I learned to be kindhearted and expansive with one’s family.

From my brother Steve I learned to introduce one’s children to a life of adventure.

From my brother Peter I learned to express boundless love to family members.

From my brother-in-law George I learned to be playful and creative as a father.

From my son J I learned to always be there for one’s kids. 

If you put all of these together you would wind up with a Super Dad.

Love on Father’s Day,

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